Sep 252005
 
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams improved their record to 7-0 in Mountain West Conference season openers as they defeated both San Diego State and UNLV this weekend to improve to 8-3 on the year.

CSU's first stop on the road trip was Thursday night in San Diego, with the Rams coming out on top in three games 30-19, 30-25, 30-20.

Senior Casey Bauer led the Rams with a match-high 13 kills, while senior Tess Rogers was right behind her with 12 kills on the night. Middle Blocker Dre Downs had another great match blocking the ball, as she had a match-high nine blocks to go with 11 kills.

"Dre was amazing tonight," head coach Tom Hilbert said in a CSU press release. "We blocked the ball very well and were able to take San Diego State out of rhythm from the very beginning."

Lindsey Noll led the Aztecs with eight kills for the match, while libero Aime Cordeiro and Melanie Greene each had eight digs. SDSU fell to 8-5 on the year and 0-1 in conference play.

The Rams then moved on to play UNLV on Saturday night, where Bauer recorded a career high in kills, with 23, and digs, with 16. The Rams won in four games by scores of: 30-26, 37-35, 19-30 and 30-21.

"[Bauer] has become a great outside hitter for us," said Hilbert.

Rogers was the only other Ram to break double figures in kills with 11, while junior libero Katherine Whitney had a season high 19 digs. Downs had seven blocks on the night to lead the match.

Game two was a tough fight for both teams as each of them hit the ball poorly, with no team leading by more than four points at one time. The game was tied 18 times before the Rams pulled out the victory.

"Game two was really good for our team," Hilbert said. "I felt really good about that."

The third game was largely controlled by the Rebels, but a comeback was put to rest as the Rams refocused in game four. CSU hit .500 in the fourth game with only one error. Rogers was perfect in hitting this game, going five for five. The Rams held UNLV to a .189 hitting percentage.

The Rams will now look forward to the Border War against Wyoming, 7 p.m. Friday, at Moby.

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